Art and Religion

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Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:17 pm

I'd like to start with a quote from "Ordinarily Sacred" by Lynda Sexson:
The concept of the world without imagination is euphemistically referred to as “reality”; but as the poet Wallace Stevens said, “the absence of imagination has itself to be imagined” If imagination forms reality, how can we characterise reality as something devoid of that which it gives rise to it? The method for dissolving the paradox is to affirm it, to enter into it; that method is sometimes called art and sometimes religion. The images we create in turn create us. The ways that we image the world (out of our imaginations) in turn give us the perspectives (images) we have on ourselves (the imaginal).

Religion and art are not precisely equivalent terms but relational perspectives. In a secularised culture particularly, art becomes to be not as aesthetic expression of religious consciousness but a conflation of the two. In dualistic worldviews, the arts can belong to the “other” and be suspect, dangerous; or, subsequent to secularisation, religion itself seems to originate in the “other” and seems amorphous, intangible, fugitive; the art may then appear more tangible, more reliable. Although dualistic religion seems inevitably to inauthenticate itself, it wavers about which side of its partitioned mind the arts belong to.

Art, like religion, may be framed (or institutionalised), placed on a pedestal (or set apart and made taboo); but the distinctions or boundaries between them have been smudged and mingled throughout time. Not only the Romantics, who conflate truth and beauty, nor the ancient Egyptians, who made their arts the transitional doorway into eternity, nor the Bantu, who play the game of finding the hidden metaphor between apparently unrelated things, but all of us, forever, have made art to make ourselves; that is, it has been the expression of, the form of, and the nature of, religion.

Since I have been saying, for some time now, that religion is an art form, this statement seems to push the point as well. Religion is the way we express ourselves and the result is art in any kind of expression. The quality of that art may be judged by the depth it offers, and how it has seasoned throughout time, but good or bad, it is religion in the form/nature of religion.

What do you think?
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:25 am

The main purpose of all religions is to soothe the existential crisis with dogmas and doctrines [e.g. Abrahamic] while other religions [Buddhism, etc.] go further with principles and philosophies.

The main approach for the Abrahamic and related religions are a belief in and surrender to God to comply with the commands of the holy text to gain merits to eternal life in heaven.

Art in those religions are merely one form of expressions of reverence for their God. This art is only expressed by those believers with artistic tendencies. These artistic forms [drawing, statutes, buildings, etc.] facilitate the believers to focus their attention towards God thus increasing their reverence.

In the case of Islam, to avoid idolization [a serious sin], art is prohibited in any representation of Islam especially drawing of God or the prophet Muhammad. Note the terrible killings of non-Muslims in associations with the drawing of prophet Muhammad.

Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency is SOME percentile of human beings. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Mon Dec 16, 2019 10:57 am

Prismatic567 wrote:The main purpose of all religions is to soothe the existential crisis with dogmas and doctrines [e.g. Abrahamic] while other religions [Buddhism, etc.] go further with principles and philosophies.

I believe that many in opposition to religion per se have a rather simplistic view of what causes the great traditions. It is an attempt to address the paradox in which we live, rather than just soothe an existential crisis. If you take the Bible for example, you find a narrative working up to the Christ, who then superseded the old testament. It is clearly thought out and isn’t a coincidence, despite the fact that the reality of the people two and more thousand years ago was conceptualised in a different way than we do today. We assume, wrongly, that the way we see the world has been the only way people could see it.

Being a narrative, the archetypal figures and their adventures have lessons to teach that we fail to understand today, as people like Jordan Peterson explain. But Lynda Sexson approaches the subject from a different perspective. In her book “Ordinarily Sacred,” she shows how even today the psychology that builds myths is still at work, interpreting reality and telling stories. We just don’t know we’re doing it. We disregard anything that appeals to the soul rather than the mind, judging it to be primitive.

Medicine bundles of the Plains Indians were made up of feathers, skulls, fur, things odd and ordinary. Often the contents were dreamed and the gathered in the daylight. That means, of course, not that the Native Americans were superstitious or primitive regarding their environment, but that the ordinary objects within medicine bundles were made of elements of dream consciousness. An if ones’s medicine bundle were considered particularly effective, it would be duplicated for a worthy friend. This indicates that the power lay not in a collection of specific objects, but in the consciousness by which they were gathered.

The consciousness by which we do something is also something we tend to fade out. There are many things we do without thinking and there are those things which require of us that we form some story around. We tell ourselves stories, excusing ourselves for this, persuading ourselves for that. Children are open with this regard, and you hear their monologues spoken out. As adults, we tend to keep it to ourselves, probably having been ridiculed along the way.

Prismatic567 wrote:Art in those religions are merely one form of expressions of reverence for their God. This art is only expressed by those believers with artistic tendencies. These artistic forms [drawing, statutes, buildings, etc.] facilitate the believers to focus their attention towards God thus increasing their reverence.
[...]
Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency is SOME percentile of human beings. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.

You have now decided that art is only what the masters of certain fields present us and rule out the fact that the humanities require us not only to learn, but use the instruments offered to find our own art form. Art is also not only pictures, but narratives and music, to name just two areas in which we combine the two regularly to tell our story (even if it is to ourselves).

As metaphor empowers one discrete element of reality to mingle with another, religious metaphor pulls the artist into itself, too. More troublesome than the departure of the god’s is the departure of their playful influence on human creativity, their infusion into human expression, their touching of human events and objects. The gods had to leave because they had been literalised and cut in two.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:41 am

Bob wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:The main purpose of all religions is to soothe the existential crisis with dogmas and doctrines [e.g. Abrahamic] while other religions [Buddhism, etc.] go further with principles and philosophies.

I believe that many in opposition to religion per se have a rather simplistic view of what causes the great traditions.
It is an attempt to address the paradox in which we live, rather than just soothe an existential crisis.
If you take the Bible for example, you find a narrative working up to the Christ, who then superseded the old testament. It is clearly thought out and isn’t a coincidence, despite the fact that the reality of the people two and more thousand years ago was conceptualised in a different way than we do today. We assume, wrongly, that the way we see the world has been the only way people could see it.

Being a narrative, the archetypal figures and their adventures have lessons to teach that we fail to understand today, as people like Jordan Peterson explain. But Lynda Sexson approaches the subject from a different perspective. In her book “Ordinarily Sacred,” she shows how even today the psychology that builds myths is still at work, interpreting reality and telling stories. We just don’t know we’re doing it. We disregard anything that appeals to the soul rather than the mind, judging it to be primitive.

The mother of all paradox is the existential crisis, i.e. the paradox that DNA/RNA wise, ALL humans are "programmed" to survive at all costs while facing the fact of the certainty of death. [exceptions are the mentally ill]
This is why the central theme of all mainstream religions are focused on death and most on the afterlife.

Medicine bundles of the Plains Indians were made up of feathers, skulls, fur, things odd and ordinary. Often the contents were dreamed and the gathered in the daylight. That means, of course, not that the Native Americans were superstitious or primitive regarding their environment, but that the ordinary objects within medicine bundles were made of elements of dream consciousness. An if ones’s medicine bundle were considered particularly effective, it would be duplicated for a worthy friend. This indicates that the power lay not in a collection of specific objects, but in the consciousness by which they were gathered.

The consciousness by which we do something is also something we tend to fade out. There are many things we do without thinking and there are those things which require of us that we form some story around. We tell ourselves stories, excusing ourselves for this, persuading ourselves for that. Children are open with this regard, and you hear their monologues spoken out. As adults, we tend to keep it to ourselves, probably having been ridiculed along the way.

Prismatic567 wrote:Art in those religions are merely one form of expressions of reverence for their God. This art is only expressed by those believers with artistic tendencies. These artistic forms [drawing, statutes, buildings, etc.] facilitate the believers to focus their attention towards God thus increasing their reverence.
[...]
Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency is SOME percentile of human beings. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.

You have now decided that art is only what the masters of certain fields present us and rule out the fact that the humanities require us not only to learn, but use the instruments offered to find our own art form. Art is also not only pictures, but narratives and music, to name just two areas in which we combine the two regularly to tell our story (even if it is to ourselves).

As metaphor empowers one discrete element of reality to mingle with another, religious metaphor pulls the artist into itself, too. More troublesome than the departure of the god’s is the departure of their playful influence on human creativity, their infusion into human expression, their touching of human events and objects. The gods had to leave because they had been literalised and cut in two.


I maintain,

Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency in SOME percentile of human beings within a range. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.

Have you researched into the concept of multiple intelligences?
Being artistic is one of the intelligence among, mathematical, linguistic, social, kinestic, emotional, etc.
Generally a person will have a certain set inherent domineering intelligences and have a very low degree with other sets of intelligences.
For example, a mathematical, engineering, scientific minded person is not likely to be artistic [artist, dancer, music, performance, in other arts ] and vice versa. This is due to the focus on the specific sets of neural circuits being conditioned into a specialty.
It is very rare for any one have to maximal all round intelligences [jack of all trades], like Leonardo Da Vinci and the likes.

Being artistic comes in degrees and competences, e.g. Artistic Intelligence [AQ].
It is only those with high AQ [not many] that will come into prominence and exposure while the lower ones will indulge in some minor forms of artistic endeavors. These are expressed in all fields of activities and the religious is merely one of them.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:25 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
Bob wrote:It is an attempt to address the paradox in which we live, rather than just soothe an existential crisis.

The mother of all paradox is the existential crisis, i.e. the paradox that DNA/RNA wise, ALL humans are "programmed" to survive at all costs while facing the fact of the certainty of death. [exceptions are the mentally ill]
This is why the central theme of all mainstream religions are focused on death and most on the afterlife.

My point is that rather than just trying to “soothe” an existential crisis, humanity has tried to find ways by which they can understand their paradox. Here we have minds that can create myth, use synthesis and analogy, metaphor, aphorism and fable. We’re not talking about the great majority of people who need a soothing, “all is well” to sleep at night. If anything, religions deeper message is not “soothing”. The “programming” of humankind is not just to survive, but to procreate and advance the species in our own special way. The problem is that by doing that, the knot tightens as it does for (as far as we know) no other species.

Religion has also progressed and made modern science possible through its search of what is true. Their use of what we now call “fiction” was an attempt to be “true to life,” which, lacking science early on, was the best they could do. The ancients discovered a multitude of aspects of our existence that we are now re-discovering.

Prismatic567 wrote:I maintain,

It’s a shame that you wipe everything I had quoted or written from the table to give me your ideologies creed. I was hoping for some exchange, rather than just conflict.

Prismatic567 wrote:Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency in SOME percentile of human beings within a range. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.

General human activities are not looking for answers, not delving into mysteries, discovering nuances and archetypal types. This kind of art, artistry in all of its diverse fields, whether painting, sculpting, or writing what has filled libraries, past and present. All forms of expression that go deeper into our existence are what I’m talking about. The child’s picture is a beginning, but if an adult is still painting like a child, it isn’t the kind of art I am referring to.

Prismatic567 wrote:Have you researched into the concept of multiple intelligences?
Being artistic is one of the intelligence among, mathematical, linguistic, social, kinestic, emotional, etc.
Generally a person will have a certain set inherent domineering intelligences and have a very low degree with other sets of intelligences.
For example, a mathematical, engineering, scientific minded person is not likely to be artistic [artist, dancer, music, performance, in other arts ] and vice versa. This is due to the focus on the specific sets of neural circuits being conditioned into a specialty.
It is very rare for any one have to maximal all round intelligences [jack of all trades], like Leonardo Da Vinci and the likes.

The difference between the majority of able people today and someone like Da Vinci is that he was breaking ground, he was going ahead in areas that nobody had discovered before him. But it doesn’t matter that he was only one, we all benefit from his discoveries, so again it isn’t relevant that art of any kind is only done well by a minority, we all progress with them (if humanities retain its importance). We consider ourselves so superior to the ancients but forget that we are standing on the shoulders of people breaking ground for us in the past.

We may use their art to “soothe” our minds, but their attempts to untie the gordian knot have brought us to where we are.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:18 am

Bob wrote:What do you think?
The first thing I thought was that imagination is involved in constructing even the mundane reality that even most skeptics materialists take for granted. I am not a full on contructivist - that we make it all up - but the making up is a part of all our experiencing, models, understanding. Religion (and art for that matter) are such broad cagetories it's a bit hard for me to say whether I go with the thesis of your op or not. I guess if I go along with the metaphor of religion as an artform this can explain some of the hallucinatory aspects, but then also support what can be seen as equivalent to Cezanne really trying to get to the essence of that hillside. Black boxing the issue of whether God is being made up, for example, or teasing out of the background noise.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Kriswest » Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:49 pm

I find myself agreeing with your view. Quite an interesting one that I think you are tapping into.
How about the label of luxury art? Consider that desperate and hurting people tend to fall away from religion due to survival. To see the art of religious promises or promotions, hurts. We all identify or are repelled by sights or sound as well as thought.
Art involves all of that. Religion does as well. The visions of reward and punishment can be too much for some.
I will be bitchy, cranky, sweet, happy, kind, pain in the ass all at random times from now on. I am embracing my mentalpause until further notice. Viva lack of total control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a test,,, this is my life right now. Have a good day and please buckle up for safety reasons,, All those in high chairs, go in the back of the room.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby felix dakat » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:11 pm

Perhaps the commonality between art and religion or spirituality are the visual and auditory images that well up spontaneously from the unconscious psyche.

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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Kriswest » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:38 am

Yes but what about sentience or what we consider lack of sentience? Have you ever seen an animal bond or own an object or another different species?
I will be bitchy, cranky, sweet, happy, kind, pain in the ass all at random times from now on. I am embracing my mentalpause until further notice. Viva lack of total control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a test,,, this is my life right now. Have a good day and please buckle up for safety reasons,, All those in high chairs, go in the back of the room.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Aegean » Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:58 am

Kriswest wrote:Yes but what about sentience or what we consider lack of sentience? Have you ever seen an animal bond or own an object or another different species?
Yes,
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:50 am

Bob wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
Bob wrote:It is an attempt to address the paradox in which we live, rather than just soothe an existential crisis.

The mother of all paradox is the existential crisis, i.e. the paradox that DNA/RNA wise, ALL humans are "programmed" to survive at all costs while facing the fact of the certainty of death. [exceptions are the mentally ill]
This is why the central theme of all mainstream religions are focused on death and most on the afterlife.

My point is that rather than just trying to “soothe” an existential crisis, humanity has tried to find ways by which they can understand their paradox. Here we have minds that can create myth, use synthesis and analogy, metaphor, aphorism and fable. We’re not talking about the great majority of people who need a soothing, “all is well” to sleep at night. If anything, religions deeper message is not “soothing”. The “programming” of humankind is not just to survive, but to procreate and advance the species in our own special way. The problem is that by doing that, the knot tightens as it does for (as far as we know) no other species.

Religion has also progressed and made modern science possible through its search of what is true. Their use of what we now call “fiction” was an attempt to be “true to life,” which, lacking science early on, was the best they could do. The ancients discovered a multitude of aspects of our existence that we are now re-discovering.

Your main point as above is;

Bob: "for some time now, that religion is an art form"

I disagree with the above [religion is not an art form] and proposed that the main purpose of religion is to soothe the existential crisis.
Art in religion is an expression of reverence for God or the respected authority of the religion. Art is a secondary thing to religion's main purpose.

All humans need some kind [religion or otherwise] of "soothing" is very subliminal, thus most are not conscious of it.

Prismatic567 wrote:I maintain,

It’s a shame that you wipe everything I had quoted or written from the table to give me your ideologies creed. I was hoping for some exchange, rather than just conflict.

If I don't agree with your premise, then I will have to express it and offer a counter view. This is an exchange of views. We cannot agree all the time.

Prismatic567 wrote:Therefore, art is merely an expression of the inherent artistic tendency in SOME percentile of human beings within a range. It thus very general to all human activities and nothing specific with religions.

General human activities are not looking for answers, not delving into mysteries, discovering nuances and archetypal types. This kind of art, artistry in all of its diverse fields, whether painting, sculpting, or writing what has filled libraries, past and present. All forms of expression that go deeper into our existence are what I’m talking about. The child’s picture is a beginning, but if an adult is still painting like a child, it isn’t the kind of art I am referring to.

Note your main premise is 'religion is an art form'.
Art is a form of artistic expression which can be expressed in all fields of knowledge and activities.

Prismatic567 wrote:Have you researched into the concept of multiple intelligences?
Being artistic is one of the intelligence among, mathematical, linguistic, social, kinestic, emotional, etc.
Generally a person will have a certain set inherent domineering intelligences and have a very low degree with other sets of intelligences.
For example, a mathematical, engineering, scientific minded person is not likely to be artistic [artist, dancer, music, performance, in other arts ] and vice versa. This is due to the focus on the specific sets of neural circuits being conditioned into a specialty.
It is very rare for any one have to maximal all round intelligences [jack of all trades], like Leonardo Da Vinci and the likes.

The difference between the majority of able people today and someone like Da Vinci is that he was breaking ground, he was going ahead in areas that nobody had discovered before him. But it doesn’t matter that he was only one, we all benefit from his discoveries, so again it isn’t relevant that art of any kind is only done well by a minority, we all progress with them (if humanities retain its importance). We consider ourselves so superior to the ancients but forget that we are standing on the shoulders of people breaking ground for us in the past.

We may use their art to “soothe” our minds, but their attempts to untie the gordian knot have brought us to where we are.

You missed my point.
I was stating not every one has the artistic intelligence and propensity for the arts. It could like 50% of all humans are artistically inclined. There are some people who are so 'robotic' that they are indifferent to the arts but rather prefer mathematics, Sciences, engineering, etc.
The inclinations of these 50% who has inclinations for the arts comes in degree.
Those with inclination for arts may expressed their arts in religion and other activities.
It is not religion per se that is responsible for one being artistic.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:07 am

felix dakat wrote:Perhaps the commonality between art and religion or spirituality are the visual and auditory images that well up spontaneously from the unconscious psyche.

Yes, some of the religious will have altered states of experiences with loads of visual images of all sorts.

But if the person [have visual images] do not have an inclination and artistic competence, they will not be able to put the images into any art form. If they are indifferent to art, they will not be bothered to draw them out but merely enjoy the images themselves.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:47 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:The first thing I thought was that imagination is involved in constructing even the mundane reality that even most skeptics materialists take for granted. I am not a full on contructivist - that we make it all up - but the making up is a part of all our experiencing, models, understanding. Religion (and art for that matter) are such broad cagetories it's a bit hard for me to say whether I go with the thesis of your op or not. I guess if I go along with the metaphor of religion as an artform this can explain some of the hallucinatory aspects, but then also support what can be seen as equivalent to Cezanne really trying to get to the essence of that hillside. Black boxing the issue of whether God is being made up, for example, or teasing out of the background noise.

I also don’t believe that everything a social construct, but the dreams we have at night, the stories we tell and re-tell, the way we describe our lives as part of a narrative, does go a long way to permeate our reality. The expression of this reality in “art” goes a long way in creating a collective idea or illustrating those ideas. Who has not stood before a piece of art, heard a symphony, been steeped in a story, and not asked where was I in that moment? How can I be swept away by something that, in its material form, is just paper and ink, paint and canvas, but becomes more in the hands of the artist.
But I’ll quote Sexson on this:
Lynda Sexson wrote:Religion is not a discrete category within human experience; it is rather a quality that pervades all of experience. Accustomed as we are to distinguishing between “the sacred” and “the profane,” we fail to remember that such a dividing up of reality itself a religious idea. It is often an awkward idea, rather like someone trying to carry himself over a stream in his own arms - a confusion of part and whole, form and function.
There are no inherently religious objects, thoughts or events; in contemporary culture so much of our world has been “contaminated” with the
mundane we hardly recognise a quality of the sacred. This has been called the process of secularisation or the modernisation, but it may be something else, it may be a nearly inevitable consequence of a dualistic paradigm, a religious point of view that divides reality into two.
Indeed, the words
mundane - of the world, profane - outside the temple, and secular - of the temporal, indicate that whatever is “before the temple” is made up of space and time (mundane and secular) and whatever is not of the world and temporality is that which is contained within the category of the sacred. However, that arrangement of reality means not only that material events and knowledge are devalued, but that events and knowledge altogether are devalued and deprived of the quality of the sacred.

It is when the object becomes meaningful, that something is sacred, which, as Sexson argues elsewhere, could be a feather, a postcard, a block of stone. Giving it meaning is generally the task of the artist.

In this way, the word God needs to have meaning to be real, it has to be combined with hopes and ideas that create awe and amazement. That is why God cannot be a thing, because things are not sacred in themselves, but the meaningful lends its sacredness to an object, an idea, a text, a painting, a symphony and so on.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:57 am

Kriswest wrote:I find myself agreeing with your view. Quite an interesting one that I think you are tapping into.
How about the label of luxury art? Consider that desperate and hurting people tend to fall away from religion due to survival. To see the art of religious promises or promotions, hurts. We all identify or are repelled by sights or sound as well as thought.
Art involves all of that. Religion does as well. The visions of reward and punishment can be too much for some.

Yes, whatever is regarded as "luxury art" may have a meaning, but more than that it has a price - which provides the value. If something is on the wall because it has a high price, we may question whether it is meaningful and therefore sacred. It is the fact that religion and art go through similar processes, is held high or declared unworthy, that art of a kind that gives meaning to people is then sacred.

I was struck by the fact that Sexson mentions the burning of pictures by the reformists amongst others, in an attempt to restrict the sacred to the written word and at most, to the cross. The couldn't keep it up of course, since even the Crucifix, as we know it, is a piece of art. The Bible is an anthology of religious thought, formed into a narrative, which in itself gives rise to paintings and drawings of diverse nature.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:00 am

felix dakat wrote:Perhaps the commonality between art and religion or spirituality are the visual and auditory images that well up spontaneously from the unconscious psyche.

This is what I believe as well. There is a lot more going on in art that you can't explain with reason. The soul guides the mind in art of any kind and when it gives meaning, the mind follows the soul.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:17 am

Prismatic567 wrote:Your main point as above is;

Bob: "for some time now, that religion is an art form"

I disagree with the above [religion is not an art form] and proposed that the main purpose of religion is to soothe the existential crisis.
Art in religion is an expression of reverence for God or the respected authority of the religion. Art is a secondary thing to religion's main purpose.

All humans need some kind [religion or otherwise] of "soothing" is very subliminal, thus most are not conscious of it.

The main reason I disagree with you is that soothing means primarily calming, or pacifying, but that isn’t what art or religion are primarily up to. Especially meaningful art challenges us, our outlook and our reason for what we think about ourselves. It can be soothing, but that is best done with some pipe music, or sounds of nature. That isn’t, when it is used that way, art in the way Sexson is referring to it.

Prismatic567 wrote:If I don't agree with your premise, then I will have to express it and offer a counter view. This is an exchange of views. We cannot agree all the time.

I was quoting Sexson and you failed to react, but rather started with “I maintain”, rather like the creed (I believe).

Prismatic567 wrote:Note your main premise is 'religion is an art form'.
Art is a form of artistic expression which can be expressed in all fields of knowledge and activities.
And again, you reduce everything I wrote or quoted to one sentence or premise. There was much more.

Prismatic567 wrote:You missed my point.
I was stating not every one has the artistic intelligence and propensity for the arts. It could like 50% of all humans are artistically inclined. There are some people who are so 'robotic' that they are indifferent to the arts but rather prefer mathematics, Sciences, engineering, etc.
The inclinations of these 50% who has inclinations for the arts comes in degree.
Those with inclination for arts may expressed their arts in religion and other activities.
It is not religion per se that is responsible for one being artistic.

I don’t believe that everyone needs to be an artist, but everyone reacts in some way to art of some kind. That is where I see the commonality with religion (which is what Sexson was saying). But rather than just being soothing, as you propose, art/religion is always challenging us or providing meaning for us individually and collectively. Why then did certain ideologies burn books, confiscate or burn paintings, ban certain kind of music?
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 18, 2019 9:20 am

Prismatic567 wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Perhaps the commonality between art and religion or spirituality are the visual and auditory images that well up spontaneously from the unconscious psyche.

Yes, some of the religious will have altered states of experiences with loads of visual images of all sorts.

But if the person [have visual images] do not have an inclination and artistic competence, they will not be able to put the images into any art form. If they are indifferent to art, they will not be bothered to draw them out but merely enjoy the images themselves.

Again, art is not only when you "do" art, but also when you see, listen, read ...
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:35 am

Bob wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
felix dakat wrote:Perhaps the commonality between art and religion or spirituality are the visual and auditory images that well up spontaneously from the unconscious psyche.

Yes, some of the religious will have altered states of experiences with loads of visual images of all sorts.

But if the person [have visual images] do not have an inclination and artistic competence, they will not be able to put the images into any art form. If they are indifferent to art, they will not be bothered to draw them out but merely enjoy the images themselves.

Again, art is not only when you "do" art, but also when you see, listen, read ...

As I had mentioned above, what is artistic comes in degrees.
What we have are;
    1. Those who can expressed [as artists, etc.] and appreciate the arts.
    2. Those who appreciate the arts only but are not good in being artistic as artists, dancers, etc.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:02 am

Bob wrote:The main reason I disagree with you is that soothing means primarily calming, or pacifying, but that isn’t what art or religion are primarily up to. Especially meaningful art challenges us, our outlook and our reason for what we think about ourselves. It can be soothing, but that is best done with some pipe music, or sounds of nature. That isn’t, when it is used that way, art in the way Sexson is referring to it.

Your OP is 'Art and Religion' and I presumed Sexson has to be confined to art in religion.
I am not ignorant of art in religion.
All the art in religion has an religious element, else it be general art.
The religious elements will comprised god, the founder of the religion, temples, churches, etc. and whatever is related to a religion.

I mentioned 'soothing' refer to more subliminal reactions and less of conscious soothing.
When a believer looks at arts related to his religion, there is a sense of 'pleasantness' that calms and soothe his whole psyche.
I have read of reports by Christians who feel good when they are in Church with paintings, statutes and architectural designs, etc. Same with believers of other religions in their own artistic environment.

However, an atheist or non-Christian who appreciate art will also feel something artistic and positive with the artistic works done, but that has nothing to do with religion and art.


I was quoting Sexson and you failed to react, but rather started with “I maintain”, rather like the creed (I believe).

I presumed Sexson has to be confined to art in religion.

And again, you reduce everything I wrote or quoted to one sentence or premise. There was much more.

Yes, there will be much more but they are reducible to the OP, art and religion.
My point is, art is independent of religion.

Prismatic567 wrote:You missed my point.
I was stating not every one has the artistic intelligence and propensity for the arts. It could like 50% of all humans are artistically inclined. There are some people who are so 'robotic' that they are indifferent to the arts but rather prefer mathematics, Sciences, engineering, etc.
The inclinations of these 50% who has inclinations for the arts comes in degree.
Those with inclination for arts may expressed their arts in religion and other activities.
It is not religion per se that is responsible for one being artistic.

I don’t believe that everyone needs to be an artist, but everyone reacts in some way to art of some kind. That is where I see the commonality with religion (which is what Sexson was saying). But rather than just being soothing, as you propose, art/religion is always challenging us or providing meaning for us individually and collectively. Why then did certain ideologies burn books, confiscate or burn paintings, ban certain kind of music?

Note my point above where are those who appreciate the arts but cannot do art.

Nope, the art in religion is not for challenging the believers of the religion.
The Abrahamic religion provide the complete guidance for the believer from the God delivered to the believers via messengers and the holy texts. There is no room for believers to challenge what God has commanded.
Thus what is art in religion is merely to increase reverence for God and the religion and to soothe [subliminal] the existential crisis.

Why then did certain [religious] ideologies burn books, confiscate or burn paintings, ban certain kind of music?

Note to topic, it is 'religious' ideologies.
Why the believers of certain religions commit the above acts is they are compelled to be duty bound to comply with their God's command. It has nothing to do with art in religion.

Arts in religion is not induced by the religion per se but are merely artistic expressions by SOME of the inherent-artistic-inclined believers.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby felix dakat » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:03 pm

Thus far all attempts to define what religion is or is not have failed. Rather one can talk about how images appear in one's own mind provided one has begun to pay attention to them not as something I create but as the structure and fabric that forms my own consciousness. Whether one chooses to call such my art or religion or philosophy or something else seems to depend on the cultural context in which I'm operating.

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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Aegean » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:32 pm

Religion, properly defined, refers to spirituality founded on text, that holds this text as being sacred.
Everything else can be differentiated by calling it spirituality.
Therefore, Hinduism and Buddhism and Paganisms are not religions, but types of spiritualism.
There are three major religions, all three related and sharing the same sacred texts - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three are anti-life, anti-wold, and therefore nihilistic. I call them the people of the Book, by the Book, for the Book.
This attitude is transferred into philosophy as an idolization of specific thinkers, and the use of their philosophical texts as if they were sacred - undeniable, absolute truth.
Last edited by Aegean on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:53 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Your OP is 'Art and Religion' and I presumed Sexson has to be confined to art in religion.
I am not ignorant of art in religion.
All the art in religion has an religious element, else it be general art.
The religious elements will comprised god, the founder of the religion, temples, churches, etc. and whatever is related to a religion.

I find it interesting that you say you are not religious, claim that religious art does not challenge, but think you know what religious art will comprise of.

Prismatic567 wrote:I mentioned 'soothing' refer to more subliminal reactions and less of conscious soothing.
When a believer looks at arts related to his religion, there is a sense of 'pleasantness' that calms and soothe his whole psyche.
I have read of reports by Christians who feel good when they are in Church with paintings, statutes and architectural designs, etc. Same with believers of other religions in their own artistic environment.

However, an atheist or non-Christian who appreciate art will also feel something artistic and positive with the artistic works done, but that has nothing to do with religion and art.

I have read reports of UFO’s, Flat Earth and all sorts of claims. It doesn’t mean they apply to us all. You’re making assumptions because you lack experience. The arts can affect people in all sorts of ways, and because Sexson’s book is titled “Ordinarily Sacred,” even ordinary objects can cause an epiphany or religious vision. My intuition whilst attending religious services was that this is an experience of profound artistry. The way the service is held is to evoke a to and fro between the priest and the congregation, music is used, symbols and text. Attending a service you are drawn into an experience that you either take part in it, remain unmoved by it or you shy away. Pleasantness may occur, but attendance is intended to mean confrontation with the word. It is mythology at work.

When you practise in your own home, with meditation, contemplation or prayer, you generally use scripture, devotional writing, or religious songs to begin with, but the silence is the most important part, because you are required to listen, not just speak. Feelgood is just irrelevant.

Prismatic567 wrote:Note my point above where are those who appreciate the arts but cannot do art.

Nope, the art in religion is not for challenging the believers of the religion.
The Abrahamic religion provide the complete guidance for the believer from the God delivered to the believers via messengers and the holy texts. There is no room for believers to challenge what God has commanded.
Thus what is art in religion is merely to increase reverence for God and the religion and to soothe [subliminal] the existential crisis.

God challenges, usually not the believer, although I have lamented in difficult times and asked a resounding “WHY?”

Prismatic567 wrote:
Why then did certain [religious] ideologies burn books, confiscate or burn paintings, ban certain kind of music?

Note to topic, it is 'religious' ideologies.
Why the believers of certain religions commit the above acts is they are compelled to be duty bound to comply with their God's command. It has nothing to do with art in religion.

Arts in religion is not induced by the religion per se but are merely artistic expressions by SOME of the inherent-artistic-inclined believers.

If you believe that it was only religious ideologies that burnt books and paintings, then you haven’t been paying attention in history class.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:56 pm

felix dakat wrote:Thus far all attempts to define what religion is or is not have failed. Rather one can talk about how images appear in one's own mind provided one has begun to pay attention to them not as something I create but as the structure and fabric that forms my own consciousness. Whether one chooses to call such my art or religion or philosophy or something else seems to depend on the cultural context in which I'm operating.

As a musician, you must feel the soul that is in certain music, where the heart is touched in an almost religious sensual way. Being moved by your music, is there really a difference between artistry and religion in that moment?
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
TS Eliot
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:00 pm

Aegean wrote:Religion, properly defined, refers to spirituality founded on text, that holds this text as being sacred.
Everything else can be differentiated by calling it spirituality.
Therefore, Hinduism and Buddhism and Paganisms are not religions, but types of spiritualism.
There are three major religions, all three related and sharing the same sacred texts - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All three are anti-life, anti-wold, and therefore nihilistic. I call them the people of the Book, by the Book, for the Book.
This attitude is transferred into philosophy as an idolization of specific thinkers, and the use of their philosophical texts as if they were sacred - undeniable, absolute truth.

Well hello. Do Hinduism and Buddhism have no texts? Are you sure about that?

Another bold statement: All three Abrahamic religions are “anti-life, anti-world, and therefore nihilistic.” Well, I suppose you can pass that as your opinions, but they are not founded on much.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
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TS Eliot
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Re: Art and Religion

Postby Aegean » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:55 pm

Ha!! you have a problem with reading?
Reread what I posted and then begin patronizing.

They are nihilistic because they propose an alternate reality to the one experienced. Like the existence of a singularity, and the idea that this existence is a staging for the more real reality; illusory.
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